Friday, April 30, 2010

Dinner at greek restaurant

Just finished a nice dinner with our friend Martin at a greek restaurant near our home. Really nice and spicy food. IMYSM! Right now you rest at the airport in Vietnam, waiting for the bus to leave to get home to Phnom Penh. Hope you well and safe there. ILYSM!

Bayern Munich edges toward treble dream

Bayern Munich hope to take another step closer to a historic treble on Saturday when they face relegation-threatened Bochum in the Bundesliga.

After the highs of reaching the Champions League final with a 3-0 win at Lyon on Tuesday, Bayern return to German league action against strugglers Bochum who sacked coach Heiko Herrlich on Thursday.

Former Germany playmaker Dariusz Wosz has taken over as caretaker, becoming Bochum's fourth coach this season.

His side must beat Bayern to keep alive their hopes of staying in the Bundesliga with only two games remaining.

Bayern are level on 64 points at the top with Schalke, but have a superior goal difference of 13 and, at least mathematically, can win the title on Saturday providing they beat Bochum and Schalke lose at Werder Bremen.

Munich face Inter Milan in the Champions League final in Madrid on May 22, Werder Bremen in the German Cup final on May 15 and are in pole-position to claim their 22nd league title.

"Things are happening which many people didn't think could happen to Bayern before the season started," said chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. "It could end up a historic season."

To read more:

Vietnam Celebrates 35th Anniversary of War's End

Communist Vietnam marked the 35th anniversary of the end of its war Friday with a dramatic re-enactment of the day North Vietnamese tanks smashed through the gates of the former Presidential Palace and ousted the U.S.-backed South Vietnam government.

The celebration took place as signs of the emerging market economy are everywhere in the city once known as Saigon and communist banners now compete with corporate logos.

A crowd of 50,000, many waving red and gold communist flags, lined the parade route, which was adorned with a massive poster of Ho Chi Minh, the father of Vietnam's revolution.

The proceedings brought back vivid memories for Do Thi Thanh Thuy, 49, who watched the tanks roll by her home on April 30, 1975, when she was a junior high student. She and her neighbors on the outskirts of the former Saigon ran into the streets to cheer.

''When I saw those tanks, I felt so happy,'' said Thuy, who carried a red and gold flag adorned with communism's hammer and a sickle symbol. ''The South had been liberated, the country was united, and the war was over.''

The fall of Saigon marked the official end of the Vietnam War and the decade-long U.S. campaign against communism in Southeast Asia. The conflict claimed some 58,000 American lives and an estimated 3 million Vietnamese.

To read more:

Love Quote

The secret of love is seeking variety in your life together, and never letting routine chords dull the melody of your romance.
~ Jill Jones

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thai Protest Rivals Want Military to End 'Anarchy'

Thailand's pro-establishment activists demanded military action against anti-government protesters and an end to ''anarchy'' in the capital Thursday, a day after clashes turned a busy expressway into a deadly battle zone.

The re-emergence of the so-called Yellow Shirts -- notorious for shutting Bangkok's airports for a week in 2008 -- added to the volatility on the streets of the Thai capital, where a seven-week standoff has killed at least 27 people and wounded nearly 1,000.

Chamlong Srimuang, one of the top Yellow Shirt leaders, has suggested that martial law be implemented -- which would hand over most state functions to the military -- and called on the army to stop the protesters on its own if the government would not, warning that otherwise civil war might ensue.

To read more:

Natalie Cole - Miss You Like Crazy

I MISS YOU LIKE CRAZY! So true today!

YouTube Video:

Visak Bochea in Cambodia

Buddhist monks gather at the Bayon Temple in Cambodia to commemorate Visak Bochea – the day of Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death.

The celebration, which coincides with the first full moon of the year – and the Buddhist calendar year 2553 – saw monks congregrate at the ancient temple for sermons, chanting and a candle-lit procession.

Situated in Siem Reap province, the Bayon Temple was built in the 12th century by King Jayavarman VII. As well as etchings of the Buddha, one side of it features an smiling face, thought by some to be a portrait of Jayavarman himself. It has been dubbed the "Mona Lisa of Southeast Asia".


Buddhist monks at the Bayon Temple in Cambodia to commemorate Visak Bochea
Source photo: AFP/ GETTY IMAGES

Thai Troops Struggle to Contain Bangkok Protests

Thai authorities said on Thursday they would intensify efforts to contain anti-government protests in Bangkok, after a soldier was killed in the latest clash of a seven-week old campaign to force early elections.

The "red shirt" supporters of ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra remained defiant in their makeshift encampment in the capital after skirmishes with Thai troops on Wednesday in Bangkok's northern suburbs left 19 wounded.

The increasingly violent protests and the economic toll they are taking on Southeast Asia's second-largest economy is piling more pressure on Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to break up the red shirt camp in a ritzy shopping district of the capital.

Army spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd told Reuters troops at checkpoints on roads leading into the area would stop people bringing in weapons and might discourage more from going in.

But red shirt leader Weng Tojirakarn said on Thursday he expects more people to join his ranks after Wednesday's clash. "It was clear from yesterday that the government is bringing war upon us," he said on the protest stage. "I believe more people will come after what happened and we will keep fighting. We believe victory is near," he said to loud cheers from thousands in their encampment behind medieval-like barricades made of truck tyres, bamboo poles and chunks of concrete.

With neither side showing any sign of compromise, analysts expect the stalemate to go on with potential flashpoints ahead.

"The situation is very volatile and any slight provocation by either side could again spiral into violence," said Somjai Phagaphasvivat, a professor at Thammasat University.

"The army appears reluctant to move in immediately on the main encampment, choosing instead to contain the unrest from spreading elsewhere. The army appears to be applying pressure a little at a time, and at the end, there may still be room for a political compromise. But we will have to see who caves first."

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban acknowledged to reporters on Thursday it would be hard to forcibly eject the red shirts because many women and children are among them.

To read more:

Love Quote

The holiest of holidays are those kept by ourselves in silence and apart; the secret anniversaries of the heart.
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

A quote which really fits so nicely to our anniversary today. Today, one year ago I arrived in Cambodia and we met face to face for the first time. Remember so much your smile, when you picked me up at the airport and everything else of that special day.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Flags on our balcony

Arranged today some flags on our balcony, looks pretty nice to have them there. On one side the Buddhist and Cambodian flags and on the other side tibetian prayer flags. Like to see them there and watch them moving  in the wind.

Mexican food for lunch break

For lunch break I went to the city center of Bochum, sitting outside in the nice spring sun and having some mexican food for lunch. Nice and spicy food.

China Lifts Ban on Visitors Who Are H.I.V. Positive

Days before travelers worldwide are to begin arriving for Shanghai’s world exposition, China has lifted a two-decade ban on travel to the country by people who carry the virus that causes AIDS or who have other sexually transmitted diseases.

The action also removed a longstanding ban on travel to China by people with leprosy.

The government approved amendments to a 1986 law governing quarantines and a 1989 law regulating entry by foreigners, removing prohibitions related to people with H.I.V., which causes AIDS, China’s State Council, a body roughly equivalent to the White House cabinet, reported on its Web site late Tuesday.

The council’s standing committee approved the changes on April 19 and Premier Wen Jiabao signed decrees putting them into effect on April 24, the council said.

With the changes, the ban on travel is officially limited only to people with infectious tuberculosis, serious mental disorders and “infectious diseases which could possibly greatly harm the public health.”

China has temporarily lifted the ban on H.I.V.-positive travelers for major events in the past, but the revision of longstanding laws indicates that the latest change will be permanent. The state-run newspaper China Daily quoted a spokesman for the health ministry, Mao Qun’an, as saying that the ministry had been working to permanently remove the prohibition since the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

To read more:

Thai Authorities Fire at Protesters Near Capital

Thai security forces and anti-government protesters clashed Wednesday on the outskirts of Bangkok, with troops firing both over and then directly into a crowd of Red Shirts to keep them from expanding their demonstrations.

It was not immediately clear if the troops were shooting live ammunition or rubber bullets or how many people were wounded in the confrontation along a major road connecting Bangkok with its northern suburbs. A nearby hospital said people injured in the clash were brought in for treatment but it did not have an immediate tally.

The Red Shirts, who have paralyzed parts of the capital with protests for weeks in their campaign to bring down a government they view as illegitimate, had announced that they were widening their demonstrations and dared the military to stop them as hundreds headed on motorbikes and pickup trucks to a planned rally in a suburb of the capital.

The shooting Wednesday raised concerns that more violence was to come after government warnings that patience was running out in the seven-week standoff.

To read more:

Olic hat trick takes Bayern to Champion's League final

Croatia international striker Ivica Olic netted a spectacular three goals against Lyon on Tuesday night to take his team Bayern Munich to the Champions league final.

Arjen Robben said he was looking forward to reacquainting himself with the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu after Bayern Munich booked their place in this season's final.

The team will contest the May 22 showpiece at the home of Real Madrid against either Barcelona or Inter Milan after swatting aside Lyon 3-0 at Stade Gerland here on Tuesday to secure a 4-0 aggregate victory.

Bayern's progress to their first European final since they last won the tournament in 2001 means Robben will return to the home of his former club.

The free-scoring Dutch international winger joined Bayern from Real in August 2009 after an often injury-plagued two-year spell in the Spanish capital.

His departure was hastened by the return of big-spending Real president Florentino Perez and although Robben expressed reluctance to leave at the time, he now feels he made the right decision.

"I'm very happy to be going back to Madrid," he said. "I made a very good decision in joining Bayern, and I knew that even before we qualified for the final. I feel really good at this club. We've already had a superb season and it will be huge if we win the treble."

Bayern currently lead the Bundesliga on goal difference from Schalke with two games to play and will face holders Werder Bremen in the German Cup final on May 15.

To read more:

We've Waited Too Long for Europe

Every comedian has a routine in which he asks members of the audience where they’re from. When a comedian in Paris got the answer, “I’m from Europe,” he knew immediately what that meant: “You’re from Germany!”

That was then. Ten years ago, to be precise. I was a correspondent in France for German television at the time and my country was still in the “we are not Germans, we are Europeans” mode.

These days, with Germany hesitant to help bail out an insolvent Greece, fellow Europeans and Americans alike are voicing concern that we are abandoning our European enthusiasm for crude nationalism.

I think it is the other way around: It is the others who have never agreed to a full Europe, and now they are astonished that our resources are running out.

Let me explain. Germany is probably still the most ardent believer in Europe. We are not becoming more nationalistic, just more realistic. For decades we have shouldered the challenges of the European project. We paid the lion’s share into all the budgets and grand schemes the European Union ever conceived. We gave our national interests second row.

Shell-shocked and ashamed after World War II, we yearned for a new identity. We wanted to be Europeans more than we wanted to be Germans. That was our state of mind throughout the Cold War. It was true even for a long time after the Wall came down.

After Paris, I went to Washington in 2002 to head our bureau there, and I shared this view with a French diplomat. “We are not just flirting with France,” I told him. “We are serious: We want to marry. We always wanted to. But that window is closing.”

Not abruptly, I told him. We were slowly coming to terms with ourselves. We were becoming a normal nation — as much as possible, anyway.

To read more:

VERY INTERESTING article to read, really worth to be read completely.

Love Quote

Any time that is spent on love is not wasted.
~ Tarquato Tasso

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

DVD: The splendor of Angkor Wat

This evening I watched a DVD of the National Geographic Society called "The splendor of Angkor Wat". Really a well done documentary with interesting facts about history, telling the story of two men, who discovered and wrote about the ancient city and temples of Angkor Wat. Enjoyed watching it a lot and felt so many memories of our visit there.

Angkor to the world existed only in the form of obscure travel accounts, till the Frenchman Henri Mouhot in the 19 Century discovered the legendary temple in search of new species just by accident. The people that lived here were called the Khmer. For over 550 years they have disappeared. Mouhot was fascinated by the builders of this giant plant. To him they were truly enlightened.

Writings of Zhou Dagoun - a diplomat from China, who lived in the 13th Century - confirm the welfare of the inhabitants of Angkor. Dagoun tells of a thriving city full of unbelievable wealth. However, after pillaging and plundering Angkor was abandoned in 1431.

The documentary is telling the story of these two men and what they had discovered and wrote about.

Our Gingko tree keeps growing

Our little Gingko tree on our balcony keeps growing in the spring sun. Now it is having little Gingko leafes already, really nice to see how nature becomes alive in spring time.

Thai Government Vows Action as Red Shirts Block Train

Protesters briefly forced Bangkok's elevated railway system to shut on Tuesday, paralysing traffic, and the government warned of tougher operations to quell growing unrest in a seven-week crisis that has killed 26 people.

Thailand's revered but ailing 82-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej, regarded as the nation's sole unifying figure, spoke publicly late on Monday for the first time since the turmoil erupted in his kingdom.

He did not directly address the political stalemate, telling the newly sworn-in judges to perform their duty honestly and provide examples to the public. In the past, including a bloody conflict in 1992, he stepped in as an arbiter to bring peace.

Hopes for an end to the standoff were dashed at the weekend when Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva rejected a proposal by the protesters for an election in three months, saying an immediate poll could turn violent and refusing to negotiate under threat.

Anti-government protesters said they planned to go on the offensive on Wednesday with daily mobile rallies across Bangkok, a provocative move in defiance of a state of emergency that could lead to clashes with troops or with rival protest groups.

The red shirts had set up roadblocks this week on several highways to prevent police and troops from coming into Bangkok.

"Authorities will step up operations," Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thuangsuban told reporters. "It is clear that the protesters are not gathering peacefully," he added.

To read more:

Love Quote

We were two and had but one heart.
~ Francois Villon

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tentative peace overtures in Bangkok

The stalemate between the Thai government and the opposition UDD, also known as the Red Shirts, seems to be giving way to attempts at finding a compromise solution.

As thousands of pro-government demonstrators rallied in Bangkok against the Red Shirts, both sides signalled on Friday they might be open to a compromise. So far, the Red Shirts had insisted that parliament be dissolved immediately, whereas the government had offered new polls at the end of the year. Eakpant Pidavanija is a lecturer at Thailand's renowned Mahidol University's Research Center for Peace Building, which has been active in exploring peaceful ways of conflict resolution in the crisis.

Deutsche Welle: Is there still scope for a negotiated settlement in the current standoff?

Eakpant Pidavanija: Yes. The government and the leaders of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) have been talking to each other almost every day, I think. But the details have not been discussed yet. So far, they are just trying to find the right opportunity for real negotiations.

So you are saying they are having behind-the-scenes talks, and there is constant communication?

Yes, I think so. At least there is a certain kind of communication how the demonstrations should be held, or how the distance between the security personnel and the demonstrators should be, something like that.

There have also been reports about mediation efforts. What can you tell us about them?

There are several organizations or individuals trying to build a bridge between the government and the UDD. Certain conditions are acceptable, but it's still in the process.

To read more:,,5500083,00.html

Homes in Ruin After Manila Fire

A huge fire sweeping through a shantytown outside the Philippine capital has destroyed about 300 houses and left about 7,000 people homeless.

Metropolitan Manila Fire Marshal Pablito Cordeta says about 200 firetrucks are battling the fire that started at midafternoon Sunday and was still burning at nightfall. It spread rapidly in the slum in Quezon city because of strong winds and the scorching summer heat.

Firefighters struggled to penetrate alleys, which were clogged by people trying to save their belongings. Residents wept as they watched their burning houses.

A weeping resident, Glen Sardon, says ''We failed to save anything except our clothes.''

Cordeta said at least two residents were reported missing.


China Asks Monks to Leave Quake Area

Chinese authorities confirmed Friday reports that they had asked Buddhist monks to end their relief work in Qinghai, the province in central China’s highlands where an earthquake last week left at least 2,187 people dead.

The officials disputed complaints from some monks that they were being expelled for political reasons, saying that better-trained workers were required for tasks like disease prevention and building reconstruction.

In a written response to questions from The Associated Press, the central government’s State Council Information Office expressed gratitude for the monks’ rescue efforts. But “it would bring more difficulties to disaster relief work if lots of unprofessional personnel were at the scene,” the statement added.

The state-run Xinhua news agency quoted the governor of Yushu Prefecture, where the quake was centered, as saying that he knew of no order to expel the monks. “We did not give or receive any orders of such kind,” the governor, Wang Yuhu, was quoted as saying. “Actually, we are very grateful for the role Tibetan monks played in the relief effort.”

The quake, which hit a sparsely populated plateau, injured more than 12,000 people, 9,145 of whom are still hospitalized, the Health Ministry said Thursday.

Yushu Prefecture is home to perhaps 200 Buddhist temples, Xinhua reported. But hundreds if not thousands of monks had streamed into Yushu from surrounding areas to assist in rescue work after the earthquake struck early on April 14.

Buddhist monks ran most of the early rescue operations in Jiegu, a city of 100,000 near the quake’s epicenter. As rescues of survivors dwindled, the monks have supervised mass cremations and the mandatory three-day period of mourning.

For days, the monks conducted their work with little or no interference from officials. But some complained this week that Chinese Army personnel and other government officials had begun to elbow them out of rescue and relief efforts. They said the government wanted to cast the rescue operations not as an indigenous effort, but as a generous gesture from the central government to the region’s ethnic Tibetan population.

To read more:

Soccer: Sex Scandal Is New Crisis for Troubled French Team

Less than two months before the start of the World Cup in South Africa, the French national soccer team, its on-field reputation in decline, is dealing with a sex scandal involving several players and under-age prostitutes.

Outrage has been building over the last week, with reports that at least three key players were questioned during a police investigation into a high-end prostitution ring. Now there is concern that the players will not be named to the World Cup team, which will be announced next month.

Three French players — Franck Ribéry, 27; Sidney Govou, 30; and Karim Benzema, 22 — are accused of soliciting sex from an under-age prostitute; none of them have been charged with a crime. The scandal revolves around the testimony of Zahia Dehar, 18, who was a minor when she said she had a relationship with two of the players.

To read more:

Love Quote

"He is not a lover who does not love forever."
~ Euripedes

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunny spring Sunday

Just some photo impressions from Sunday afternoon spring walk with our dog. Very sunny day, makes more and more trees and flowers to blossom.

Germany: Business confidence hits two-year high

Business confidence in Germany rose sharply to a near two-year high in April, the closely watched Ifo index showed Friday, in another sign of recovery in Europe's top economy.

The index rose to 101.6 points in April from 98.2 in March, smashing forecasts by analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires, who were looking for a rise to 98.9 points.

The index has not been so high since May 2008.

"The German economy has shifted into a higher gear," said Hans-Werner Sinn, president of the institute.

The survey of around 7,000 businesses is considered a reliable indicator of future economic performance.

"If the real economy now follows up on confidence indicators' promises, the near future looks very bright," said Carsten Brzeski, an economist from ING.

While a viciously cold winter is expected to have frozen growth in the first quarter of 2010, the economy as a whole is projected to grow by 1.4 percent this year, according to recently published government forecasts.

"Germany is growing again," Economy Minister Rainer Brüderle told parliamentarians earlier Friday.

The country is recovering from its worst recession in more than six decades, with output shrinking by five percent in 2009.

The world's second-largest exporter after China appears to be powering ahead, raising hopes that it could yet drag the rest of Europe with it.

"Neither cancelled flights due to the volcano eruption nor the Greek crisis stopped business sentiment from rising further strongly," said Andreas Rees, an analyst from Unicredit.

"The German business locomotive is currently running at full steam."


Love Quote

Love consists in desiring to give what is our own to another and feeling his delight as our own.
~ Emanuel Swedenborg

Saturday, April 24, 2010

At Buddhist Center Wuppertal

At the Buddhist Center in Wuppertal for a very special transmission lecture with Pedro Gomez from Spain, who is speaking about how he helped H.H. the 17th Karmapa sixteens years ago to escape from the occupied Tibet. It is only the third time he is speaking about this secret and dangerous escape and what they did to get Karmapa out of from Chinese controlled Tibet. Very fascinating and great to hear such a eye wittness speak about this. 

Funnel cake

As today a very sunny, warm and nice spring day, I decided after our phone call to drive with our new motor a little bit around in Bochum, to enjoy the weather, as driving motor on such a sunny day is really nice. Had a break at a coffee place, to have a coffee and a american style cake, called Funnel cake, with ice creame and apples in a cinnamon sauce. Nice stuff, but pretty sweet, could not eat that very often.

Bishop in Belgium Steps Down Over Abuse

The longest-serving bishop in Belgium resigned Friday after admitting to sexually abusing “a boy in my close entourage” many years ago, becoming the latest cleric to quit in a spreading abuse scandal.

The development added to a corrosive catalog of disclosures that has damaged the credibility of the Roman Catholic Church and shaken the trust of many believers in their spiritual leaders.

In a statement issued by the Vatican on Friday, Roger Vangheluwe, 73, the bishop of Bruges since 1985, said that the abuse had occurred “when I was still a simple priest and for a while when I began as a bishop.”

“This has marked the victim forever,” he said.

The bishop said that he had asked the victim and his family several times to forgive him, but that the wound had not healed, “neither in me nor the victim.” A recent media storm merely deepened the trauma, he said. “I am profoundly sorry,” he said.

This week, in a rare public comment directly addressing the issue of abuse, Pope Benedict XVI promised that the church would take action to deal with the crisis.

Bishop Vangheluwe is the first Belgian bishop to step down since the abuse scandal began to erupt in recent months in several European countries. Bishops elsewhere have resigned, though. On Thursday the church authorities in Germany said that Bishop Walter Mixa, one of the country’s most prominent and outspoken conservative clerics, had tendered his resignation after being accused of beating children decades ago.

On the same day, the Vatican said the pope had accepted the resignation of Bishop James Moriarty of Kildare and Leighlin, Ireland. Bishop Moriarty had been cited in an Irish government report on the mishandling and concealment of cases of priestly abuse.

To read more:

Love Quote

"Whatever our souls are made up, his and mine are the same."
~ Emily Bronte

Friday, April 23, 2010

Catholics ready for Church exodus, poll finds

Nearly a quarter of Germany’s 25 million Catholics are considering turning their backs on their Church in the wake of the child abuse scandals, a survey published Friday found.

The poll of more than 1,000 Catholics by the Forsa Institute published by daily Bild, found 23 percent of Church members said they were thinking of leaving.

Even among those who described themselves as devout, 19 percent were considering walking away, the poll found.

The findings come as the Church faces its gravest crisis of modern times, with decades-old claims of child sexual abuse by priests surfacing in Germany and around the world. The scandal has this week forced the resignation of Augsburg Bishop Walter Mixa, who was accused of beating children at an orphanage, though not of sexual abuse.

At the heart of the anger is the belief that the Church is not handling the child abuse affair openly. Just 16 percent of Catholics polled said they believed Church leaders were dealing with the abuse crisis transparently, compared with 77 percent who said it was not transparent.

Just under a quarter (24 percent) of people thought child abuse was more common in the Church than it was elsewhere in the community, compared with 14 percent who felt it was less common and 52 percent who believed it was the same.

Exactly half believed there was a link between celibacy and child abuse, while 44 percent said there was no link.

Yet a massive 81 percent believed celibacy for priests should be abolished, compared with just 12 percent who believed it should be kept.

The disillusionment was felt most deeply by younger Catholics. Among those aged 18 to 29, just over a third (34 percent) were thinking of quitting. Some 28 percent of those aged 30 to 44 were considering walking away, as were 32 percent of 45 to 59-year-olds and 6 percent of those aged 60 or older.


Manila F.A.M.E. International Fair

Right now you are in Manila, visiting the CITEM fair "Manila F.A.M.E. International".
Seems to be a very interesting and fascinating fair, wish I could join you right now there, walking around. Looking forward to the photos you took there and what you have to tell about your visit there. IMYSM!

Found in the internet the website of the fair:

Also found a video at YouTube reporting about this fair in 2009:

Volcanic ash cloud impacts Cambodia's hotel bookings

Flights are set to resume, but local hotels lost up to 15 percent of customers

The giant volcanic ash cloud which caused travel chaos throughout the world reduced hotel bookings in Cambodia by between 10 and 15 percent, Tourism Minister Thong Khon and the Cambodian Hotel Association said Wednesday.

As some flights from Asia resumed Wednesday after a six-day lock down on air travel to and from northern Europe, the Kingdom is counting the cost of the eruption from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano – which began on April 14 and thrust vast plumes of potentially dangerous ash into the sky.

Minister of Tourism Thong Khon told the Post that the ash cloud “really impacted the tourism sector in Cambodia. It impacted some hotel [bookings] by about 10 percent”.

He pointed out that Cambodia has more than 300 hotels and over 20,000 rooms.

The observation has been reiterated by top representatives of the hotel industry. Luu Meng, president of the Cambodian Hotel Association (CHA), said Wednesday: “I estimate about 10 to 15 percent of hotel rooms throughout Cambodia have been cancelled due to the volcanic [ash] cloud.”

To read more:

Cambodia: Influenza - Bird flu death confirmed by government

A 27-year-old man from Prey Veng province’s Kampong Leav district died late last week after contracting the A(H5N1) virus, known as bird flu, officials said Wednesday. According to a press release issued by the Health Ministry and World Health Organisation, the man died on April 17 as a result of ‘‘respiratory complications’’ four days after he became ‘‘sick at home with high fever’’. His was the 10th confirmed human case of bird flu since the virus was first detected in Cambodia in 2004, and the eighth confirmed death.

To read more:

Germany in Need of a Dream

Has Germany abandoned Europe? Do Angela Merkel’s tough conditions for aid to Greece mean that Germany is no longer the motor of European integration? Has Frau Merkel in fact morphed from the Miss Europa of 2007 to the Fräulein Germania of 2010, as Germany’s own former foreign minister Joschka Fischer has suggested?

As a former American ambassador who has lived and worked the better part of four decades around Germany, my Blackberry often glows red hot with messages from persons asking these questions. My response is always the same: Germany has changed very little, but Europe and the world have changed a lot. Therein lies the dilemma.

Germany has worked hard to dig its way out of the disaster of 1945, but trauma remains a defining issue for German society. Sixty five years later, Germany is still focused on the three essentials of its recovery: stability, respectability and peace. Keep this triangle in mind and lots of things quickly come into focus.

From the first days of the Federal Republic, Germany’s leaders emphasized the importance of defining interests solely within a common European and Atlantic vocation. But they also understood that renouncing national ambitions did not remove the responsibility to pursue specific German goals through the common institutions.

Many important postwar accomplishments were conceived and pushed by Germany, sometimes over the opposition of others — including the United States. Ostpolitik was controversial for years, as was NATO enlargement. Germany pushed them with determination.

To read more:

Source graphic: Die Fahnen und Flaggen finden Sie bei

Bangkok Explosions Stoke Fears of Wider Violence

Five grenades exploded in the heart of Bangkok’s business district on Thursday evening, killing at least one person and wounding 75 as rival groups of protesters demonstrated and shouted insults at one another across a makeshift barricade.

The explosions, several of which took place on the platform of an elevated train, scattered shrapnel through crowds that included foreign tourists, sending people fleeing in panic into shops and restaurants.

The attacks threatened to ignite wider violence after more than six weeks of protests that seek to bring down the government and force a new election.

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, speaking on television, blamed the antigovernment protesters known as the red shirts, who have paralyzed parts of Bangkok. He said that rocket-propelled grenades had been fired from within an area the red shirts occupied. Although he said three people had been killed, the government’s Erawan Medical Center confirmed only one death.

It was the worst violence since April 10, when 25 people were killed in a clash between the military and the red shirts, and it raised fears that confrontations between rival groups of protesters could spread.

Tensions have increased in recent days, with the red shirts threatening to march on the financial district and the government warning of an imminent crackdown. “Your days are numbered,” an army spokesman, Col. Sansern Kaewkamnerd, said Thursday, addressing the red shirts.

To read more:

Explosions in Bangkok Wound Dozens, Photo slideshow:

Love Quote

Other men said they have seen angels, but I have seen thee, and thou art enough.
~ G. Moor

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bayern wins 1-0 in Champs League semi

Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal praised his side for their 1-0 win over Lyon in Wednesday's Champions League semi-final, first-leg, as both sides finished with ten-men.

Dutch winger Arjen Robben hit the winning goal, which will give Bayern a slender advantage for next Tuesday's second leg in France.

Since joining Bayern from Real Madrid in August 2009, Robben has now scored 20 goals in all competitions, but none so important as his 69th-minute strike.

"I am very happy," said van Gaal whose side are still on course of the treble of Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup titles.

"1-0 is a good result and means we don't have to take any risks for the second-leg, so we have done very well."

The first-half dismissal of Bayern's Franck Ribery for a dangerous challenge was cancelled out when Lyon's France defender Jeremy Toulalan was also dismissed just after the break for a second yellow card.

Both Toulalan and Ribery will now miss the second-leg, as will Bayern's Danijel Pranjic who picked up his third yellow card of the Champions League campaign.

"This was a very dubious red card against Ribery," said van Gaal. "There is always the chance they can be given and Ribery gave the referee the possibility, he stayed on his feet longer than was necessary."

With captain Mark van Bommel suspended, defender Philipp Lahm took charge and he admitted it would be hard to comfort Ribery after a difficult week.

To read more:

Source photo:

Gay Marriage for Buddhists?

The Pennsylvania Senate is considering an amendment to the state constitution that would ban same-sex marriage. In response, the Rev. Kyoki Roberts, head priest of the Zen Center of Pittsburgh, wrote a letter published Monday, March 24, 2008, in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The Rev. Roberts writes that the amendment "is in direct violation of my religious beliefs as a Zen Buddhist priest." Further, his "code of ethics guides my actions toward kindness, compassion and generosity and not toward anger, hatred and bigotry. ... It is time we take down (not put up) the signs saying 'No gays allowed.'"

How does Buddhism view gay marriage and homosexuality?
In short, there is no prohibition or judgment specific to homosexuality in the canonical teachings. However, in many Asian countries there is a strong cultural aversion to homosexuality, and this cultural aversion has seeped into the Buddhist institutions of those countries.
Western Buddhists on the whole accept homosexuality without moral judgment, and in my experience western sanghas give same-sex relationships the same respect given to opposite-sex relationships. There may be exceptions, but I haven't heard of them.


Love Quote

What the heart gives away is never gone; it is kept in the hearts of others.
~ Robin St. John

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Germany: Skies set to re-open Wednesday

Air travel in Germany was set to creep back to normality Wednesday with the air traffic authority DFS announcing air space would be gradually opened for regular flights.

Pilots would be cleared to use their instrumentation rather than just flying visually over the course of Wednesday, meaning many more flights would be approved to take off and land.

There was “a good chance that the air space over Germany and all international airports would be available by the late afternoon,” the DFS said in a statement issued Wednesday morning.

However it said a longer term prognosis was still not possible.

The announcement followed an earlier extension of the air space closure until 8 am Wednesday morning, owing to the cloud of ash seeping from the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull.

To read more:

Source photo:

German beer blasts hole through Apple's security core

The world’s best beer has been the downfall of many a good man. In the case of American software engineer Gray Powell, the unparalleled power of German brewing was enough to tear a gaping hole in technology giant Apple’s legendary product security system.

Powell, who was helping build the software for the new-generation Apple iPhone, was enjoying a few beers for his 27th birthday on March 18 at the Gourmet Haus Staudt in California on March.

In fact he was so enjoying the pure blend of pure blend of hops, water and barley brought, that he left the cutting edge prototype phone, which he had been given to “field test” on the bar stool.

Within a few weeks, technology web magazine Gizmodo had acquired the prototype for US$5,000 (€3,700) and was reporting on its every detail – making a mockery of Apple’s tight security, which includes a special team of guards at the firm’s offices and plants to make sure no information about new products is leaked.

Apple is famously secretive about its products before they are launched. It relies on the “big bang” effect of a major announcement by boss Steve Jobs to whip up frenzied attention and profit from the massive publicity.

But best laid plans couldn’t contend with beer brewed according to the Reinheitsgebot purity laws – by which beer must contain just water, barley and hops.

Powell was having his 27th birthday in the German pub, 30 kilometres from Apple’s Infinite Loop headquarters, on March 18.

According to Gizmodo, Powell’s last Facebook update on the phone – which was disguised as a regular iPhone for the field test – read: “I underestimated how good German beer is.”

To read more:

Source graphic:

For Former Thai Premier, Exile but Not Irrelevance

Thaksin Shinawatra is angry. “This is the worst political accusation I ever had,” Mr. Thaksin, a former prime minister, said Tuesday in a message delivered by a spokesman — sent, as always, from an undisclosed location abroad.

Behind the coils of barbed wire and battle-ready troops in the city’s financial district, someone has been poking fun at him, putting up signs that say, “Thaksin Shinawatra, president of a New Thai State.” It is a sensitive point for Mr. Thaksin and his red shirt movement, which has been accused of seeking to turn Thailand’s constitutional monarchy into a republic as it challenges the country’s established power structure.

After six weeks of paralyzing demonstrations calling for the government’s resignation and new elections, the red shirts have brought the country to a point of crisis. And although the streets remained quiet on Tuesday, the troops have been deployed to counter threats of a new confrontation.

The red shirt movement is founded on the political base Mr. Thaksin created within the country’s poor majority during his nearly six years in power.

In the annals of disgraced and exiled former leaders, Mr. Thaksin can take his place as one of the most persistent. Not only has he maintained and played to a core of die-hard supporters at home, but he has also helped build them into a powerful force that now threatens the survival of the government.

He was the first elected prime minister in Thailand ever to finish his term and the first to be re-elected. Three and a half years after being ousted in a coup, he remains the most influential — and most disruptive — political figure in Thailand.

To read more:

The Rise of Asia's Universities

The rapid economic development of Asia since World War II — starting with Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, then extending to Hong Kong and Singapore, and finally taking hold powerfully in India and mainland China — has forever altered the global balance of power. These countries recognize the importance of an educated work force to economic growth, and they understand that investing in research makes their economies more innovative and competitive.

Beginning in the 1960s, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan sought to provide their populations with greater access to post-secondary education, and they achieved impressive results. Today, China and India have an even more ambitious agenda. Both seek to expand their higher-education systems, and since the late 1990s, China has done so dramatically.

The results of Beijing’s investment have been staggering. Over the past decade, the number of institutions of higher education in China more than doubled, from 1,022 to 2,263. Meanwhile, the number of Chinese who enroll in a university each year has quintupled.

India’s achievement to date has not been nearly as impressive, but its aspirations are no less ambitious. To fuel the country’s economic growth, India aims to increase its gross enrollment ratio in post-secondary education from 12 percent to 30 percent by 2020. This goal translates to an increase of 40 million students in Indian universities over the next decade.

Having made tremendous progress in expanding access to higher education, the leading countries of Asia are focused on an even more challenging goal: building universities that can compete with the finest in the world. The governments of China, India, Singapore and South Korea are explicitly seeking to elevate some of their universities to this exalted status because they recognize the important role that university-based scientific research has played in driving economic growth in the United States, Western Europe and Japan.

To read more:

Love Quote

Love is perhaps the only glimpse we are permitted of eternity.
~ Helen Hayes

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

kor-yom neck bong


Get cool comments in khmer at

Former Khmer Rouge express views on reconciliation

A Cambodian NGO recently completed the first reconciliation meeting of former Khmer Rouge cadres in an attempt to discover the reasons behind certain atrocities.

150 former Khmer Rouge gathered last week at the compound of their last leader, the late general Ta Mok, on the outskirts of Anlong Veng in northwestern Cambodia.

Anlong Veng was the last stronghold of the Khmer Rouge and only came under government control in 1998. Some of the Khmer Rouge’s most notorious leaders are still highly regarded here.

The former cadres came to the gathering to give their opinions on what reconciliation and justice mean to them, and to discuss the psychological trauma from decades of war.

Preventing atrocities in future

Daravuth Seng, who heads the Center for Justice and Reconciliation that organized the meeting, said that despite the trauma of the Khmer Rouge’s four-year rule – when up to two million people died – and the subsequent two-decade long civil war, precious little reconciliation work had been done in Cambodia.

“People in general are very much social animals, and they want to come back into the fold,” Seng said while explaining the background for the gathering. “So we have to be really careful in not putting them into a context where they are saying things they don’t necessarily mean, but yet leaving the language open enough so that meaningful reconciliation can happen.”

A Cambodian-American who trained as a lawyer in the United States, Seng added that another reason for the gathering, which was funded by the German development service, was to try to understand why the Khmer Rouge cadres had followed the path they did.

Knowing this could help prevent future atrocities of a similar kind, he explained.:“If we are to say never again, we really need to understand both sides, to understand the way these folks perceive the world.”

To read more:,,5469027,00.html

Debate on Internet’s Limits Grows in Indonesia

Indonesia — Displeased that a statue of a 10-year-old Barack Obama was installed in a park here, Indonesians took their protest not to this capital’s most famous traffic circle but to Facebook. More than 56,000 online protesters later, city officials gave in to arguments that the park should be reserved to honor an Indonesian.

This example of high-tech grass-roots organizing was the direct result of the explosion of social networking in Indonesia. But the boom is prompting a fierce debate over the limits of free expression in a newly democratic Indonesia, with the government trying to regulate content on the Internet and a recently emboldened news media pushing back.

Proponents of greater freedom view social networking as a vital tool to further democratize this country’s often corrupt political system. Skeptics, especially among politicians and religious leaders, worry about mob rule and the loss of traditional values.

In its latest move, the government recently proposed a bill that would require Internet service providers to filter online content but was forced to shelve it after vociferous protest online and in the mainstream media.

Thanks to relatively cheap cellphones that offer Internet access, Facebook, Twitter and local social networking media have rapidly spread from cities to villages throughout Southeast Asia, especially in Indonesia and the Philippines. In a little over a year, the number of Indonesian Facebook users has skyrocketed to more than 21 million from fewer than a million — the world’s third largest number of Facebook users.

With tens of millions of people now instantly connected, social networking has quickly become a potent, though sometimes unpredictable, political force.

Protests on Facebook and other sites successfully backed leaders of this country’s main anticorruption agency who, in a long-running feud against the national police and the attorney general’s office, had apparently been set up and arrested on false charges. The online anger prompted President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to intercede; the police and the attorney general’s office, considered among the country’s most corrupt institutions, dropped the case and released the officials in November.

To read more:

German airlines resume limited flight schedules

Many German airlines resumed service on Tuesday morning despite another extension on the flight ban until at least 2 pm due to volcanic ash still hovering over Europe.

Thanks to exceptions in the ban allowing for flights below six kilometres in altitude, flights by carriers Lufthansa, Air Berlin and Condor were already able to take off late on Monday – mainly to pick up stranded German tourists at vacation destinations.

Meanwhile flight schedules within German are slowly getting back on track in Frankfurt, Munich, Stuttgart, Leipzig, Düsseldorf, Cologne and Berlin.

The country’s biggest carrier Lufthansa said it plans to send some 50 machines to pick up about 15,000 stranded passengers from Asia, North and South America, and Africa. Smaller airlines Condor and TUIfly are expected to follow.

But the ban is still technically in place until Tuesday afternoon, leading pilots’ union Cockpit to call the airlines’ choice to fly irresponsible as safety concerns remain.

The German parliament’s transportation committee has planned a special meeting for Tuesday to review the consequences of the flight ban, which began last Thursday following the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano.

Airlines have said they fear losses in the billions and have questioned the accuracy and sense of computer simulations by the London-based Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre which dictated the flight ban.


Love Quote

"Who travels for love finds a thousand miles not longer than one."
~ Japanese Proverb

Monday, April 19, 2010

Have a safe journey

Right now you are on the plane from Saigon to Manila / Phillipines and over here in Germany, on our balcony a candle and some incense is burning, to accompany and protect you, during your flight and whole business trip to the Phillipines. Please take good care there, I am all the time with you. ILYSM 

Our new Motor

Today our new motor has been delivered. Really good fun to drive it, although still need to get used to it and drive careful. Reminds me little of us driving in Phnom Penh. IMYSM!
Hope you have right now a good flight to Manila, join you on the trip.

Government of Thailand Is Promised Support

The pro-government “yellow shirt” movement added to Thailand’s tensions on Sunday with a threat to challenge the red-shirt protesters with a counterdemonstration if the government did not move quickly to crush them.

“We give the government seven days to return peace to the country or we, every member of the P.A.D., will perform our duty under the Constitution,” said Chamlong Srimaung, a leader of the yellow shirts, whose formal name is the People’s Alliance for Democracy.

“Prepare yourselves for the biggest rally when we will eat and sleep on the street again,” he said, referring to months of crippling protests by the yellow shirts in 2008 that culminated in a weeklong takeover of Bangkok’s airports.

Red-shirt demonstrators have paralyzed parts of Bangkok for more than a month, demanding that the government step down and call a new election. A clash between rival demonstrations could lead to the kind of widespread violence that analysts say would be difficult to control.

The yellow-shirt statement, during a gathering of about 3,000 supporters, came as the red shirts and the military exchanged their own warnings about a possible confrontation this week.

The red shirts, who have built a tent city in Bangkok’s commercial center, said they would rally Tuesday in the nearby financial district. Their mood has become increasingly militant and angry since a clash with security forces a week ago in which 24 people died.

An army spokesman said that the soldiers would be ready for them.

“We won’t let them go anywhere further,” the spokesman, Col. Sansern Kaewkamnerd, said on television. “Whatever will be, will be. If we have to clash, we will. We can’t just think we don’t want casualties.”

He said soldiers would be stationed in high-rise buildings at the main rally site, which is surrounded by shopping malls and five-star hotels.

To read more:

Air traffic ban extended through Monday

Germany’s air safety agency DFS has once again extended its ban on air travel until 8 pm on Monday due to volcanic ash from Iceland that has crippled air travel across Europe since Thursday.

The ban was initially set to be lifted at 2 pm in Germany, but reports from the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) in London said weather conditions were not favourable for moving the ash from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano out of the region.

A spokesperson for DFS – which allowed six German airports to operate for a few hours on Sunday – said the situation would be reviewed at midday as more information becomes available.

Regional air traffic safety authority Eurocontrol reported that 5,000 flights took place in Europe on Sunday, down significantly from the normal 24,000 flights.

According to Eurocontrol, countries that have closed their airports include Belgium, parts of Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, parts of France, most of Germany, Hungary, Ireland, northern Italy, the Netherlands, parts of Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the UK.

To read more:

Monks Bolster China’s Quake Relief Effort

China — Long after the bulldozers have gone silent and the rescue workers have retired to their tents, the only sound in this earthquake-battered city is the plaintive barking of dogs that have lost their homes, and in many cases, their owners.

As the smoke from a thousand campfires filled the air early Sunday morning, solitary figures shuffled through the darkness, heading to no place in particular. Some, like Tsai Ba Mao, 63, were drawn to a tent off the city’s main square, where Buddhist monks had created a makeshift temple filled with rows of yak-butter lamps. A cardboard sign above the entrance read “Pray for the dead,” written in Chinese and Tibetan.

Like nearly everyone else in Jiegu, a high-altitude city in western Qinghai Province, Ms. Tsai was grappling with loss, in her case, the death of her 34-year-old son in the collapse of the family’s home. “I can’t sleep,” she said. “The pain is too great.”

The earthquake, which struck early Wednesday, killed at least 1,700 people in Jiegu, famed for its horse-racing festival and purebred Tibetan mastiffs. With hundreds of people still buried under rubble, the toll is expected to rise. Everyone, it seems, lost a relative.

The Chinese government has undertaken an aggressive relief effort. In recent days the city has been flooded with soldiers, medics and supplies. The response has been so great, and traffic downtown so bad, that the government has urged volunteers to stay away.

President Hu Jintao, who cut short a state visit to South America after the quake struck, flew to Jiegu on Sunday, consoling victims and promising to rebuild. “There will be new schools!” he wrote on a blackboard in a tent filled with orphaned children, according to Xinhua, the official news agency. “There will be new homes!”

But perhaps just as striking as Beijing’s rescue-and-relief juggernaut is the highly visible operation mounted by Buddhist monks, thousands of whom have traveled long distances from Tibetan areas of the country. They distribute packaged biscuits, tend huge vats of barley and dig for bodies.

To read more:

Love Quote

"Love is not finding someone you can live with; it's finding someone you can't live without."
~ Rafael Ortiz

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spring on our balcony

Some spring impressions from our balcony at home. The little Gingko tree on our balcony begins to blossom, soon it will have leafes, some trees are already green and carry leafes.
You are now in Vietnam, hope you well and safe, IMYSM!

Love Quote

"In all that we do let us do it for love."
~ Chris Cotton

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Accessories for our Motor

Back home now from shopping, bought a few items, so that everything is ready for our soon arriving motor.
Now it can be delivered, already looking forward, also look forward to drive motor with you here in Germany. IMYSM!
This is what I got today:
- Helmet, with integrated sun blade.
- Rain trouser and jacket, which I can wear over my other cloths, if necessary.
- Kidney Belt.
- Leather hand gloves.
- Cover for motor, to protect it from weather, when standing outside.

Shopping and lunch at Bochum city center

Right now I am at the city center of Bochum, finished some accessory shopping at the Biker Shop, for our new motor which will be delivered on Monday or Tuesday. Really good service and friendly, helpful staff there. After that I had some nice lunch. Miss a lot to do that together as couple. IMYSM!

In Hospital Decision, Obama Finds Safe Ground on Gay Rights

President Obama has found a way to support gay rights that least offends those who oppose them.

Allowing same-sex partners the same rights as straight couples to visit and make medical decisions for their hospitalized loved ones enjoys broad public backing, even as the country remains polarized over the question of marriage rights for gay men and lesbians.

Mr. Obama’s unexpected move, which was announced through a memorandum released Thursday night, brought muted responses from conservative groups. Rather than argue that same-sex partners should not be granted equal medical rights, they asserted that Mr. Obama was pandering to his political base and undermining the traditional definition of marriage.

They also said that Mr. Obama was reinforcing the idea that his is a left-leaning administration that dictates solutions from Washington.

But they did not say Mr. Obama’s argument — that gay men and lesbians deserve the same rights as others to have partners visit them in hospitals or make medical decisions that were previously agreed — was wrong on the merits. Public opinion polls show that those measures are widely supported, at times by more than 8 in 10 Americans, even though fewer than half of poll respondents typically support same-sex marriage.

“I think it’ll be relatively noncontroversial,” said Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster in Virginia. “In this day and age, basic rights are deemed to be accorded to everyone. This allows him to give something to his base without worrying too much about backlash on the other side.”

To read more:

Thai Protest Leaders Elude Capture by Thai Commandos

In a new humiliation for the Thai government, several leaders of the red-shirt protest movement escaped from a hotel on Friday after it had been surrounded by security forces — even as a deputy prime minister was announcing the raid live on television.

The raid was the first aggressive action by the government since a failed attempt to disperse the rallies last Saturday that resulted in 24 deaths and hundreds of other injuries. The police were overwhelmed by throngs of red-shirted protesters who have occupied parts of Bangkok for a month, demanding that the government resign and hold new elections.

In response, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva announced that he was appointing the army commander, Gen. Anupong Paochinda, the sole commander of what had been a civilian-military security office, in effect putting security operations entirely in the hands of the military. Mr. Abhisit said the move was necessary because the protesters had been infiltrated by what he called terrorists who were threatening national security. “We want to see peace,” he said. “Sometimes you need patience. Sometimes you need tolerance. The government will not stop working toward peace.”

To read more:

Europe: Air Travel Chaos Deepens Into Weekend

The menacing cloud of ash from a volcano in Iceland moved eastward across Northern Europe on Friday, expanding an already massive transportation gridlock and throwing weary travelers into an anxious limbo.

Scientists were uncertain when the cloud would dissipate, as its repercussions rippled far beyond the flight boards at shuttered airports in Europe.

Opera singers and musicians were stranded while trying to make their performances, and perishable foods were stuck in warehouses. Thousands of people unable to travel by air jammed train stations or hired long-haul taxis in a desperate search for alternative ways to reach their destinations. Recreational runners in Europe grew worried they would not be able to reach Boston early Monday in time for the start of the Boston Marathon.

From business meetings to long-planned high school trips to world diplomacy, the ash cloud affected many facets of life. The state funeral of the Polish president, Lech Kaczynski, and his wife was likely to take place as scheduled on Sunday, according to Polish authorities, but it was unclear which international dignitaries would be able to get there.

“I’ve never seen such chaos,” said Erich Klug, 35, a buyer for an auto parts company who was in the Frankfurt airport when it shut down on Friday. Hundreds of people stood in line there to buy train tickets, while others slept on cots as they awaited news of a resumption of air service.

Many of Europe’s major airports — crucial hubs for international travelers and cargo — were still closed on Friday evening, although some airports in Western Europe began to ease restrictions on flights as the volcanic cloud shifted away from them to the east.

The International Air Transport Association, based in Geneva, said Friday that a conservative estimate of the financial damage to the airline industry by the disruptions included more than $200 million a day in lost revenue, and that it did not yet know how much more airlines had spent to re-route planes, care for stranded passengers and park grounded aircraft at airports.

To read more:

Chinese Premier Visits Tibetan Quake Survivors

China — Prime Minister Wen Jiabao spent Friday in the Tibetan high country, comforting survivors of this week’s devastating earthquake in a prominent display of concern by the country’s Han leadership for one of China’s most troubled ethnic minorities.

“No matter whether you are Tibetans or Hans, you are all in one family,” Mr. Wen said during a visit to an orphanage in Yushu Prefecture, a remote area of western China to which he had raced on Thursday after canceling a trip to Indonesia, state news media reported. President Hu Jintao also changed his plans after the quake, cutting short a trip to Brazil.

The government’s efforts will be closely watched. Although the scope of destruction does not compare with the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan Province, which killed about 87,000 people, the disaster in Qinghai Province presents a delicate political challenge.

The government raised the official death toll of this week’s quake to 1,144, from 791 earlier in the day, with many thousands more injured and suffering in the freezing cold at 13,000 feet. Most of those affected are ethnic Tibetans, whose relations with the Chinese government have never been easy.

In 2008, those tensions flared in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, during deadly rioting that pitted local residents against ethnic Han migrants. Since then, sporadic unrest and crackdowns have occurred across Tibetan areas of the country, Qinghai included, although Jiegu has been relatively quiet.

At a news conference on Friday in Beijing, government experts seemed at pains to stress that the distribution of relief supplies had been unaffected by ethnic considerations, and that supplies had been handed out solely on the basis of need.

But there were obvious tensions in the earthquake zone. Many monks said that the army and the police had prevented them from searching for survivors in the first few days after the quake and that the emergency teams that came from other parts of the country worked with a lack of urgency. “We have been digging with our bare hands to save lives,” said Tsewang, a 21-year-old monk who, like some Tibetans, uses only one name. “We are very disappointed in them.”

To read more:

Love Quote

"My love for you is a journey; starting at forever, and ending at never."
~ Author unknown

Friday, April 16, 2010

2 Philippine Candidates Killed in Election Violence

Election violence erupted again in the Philippines on Thursday as a grenade attack killed two people and injured a dozen during a meeting of local candidates.

Police officials said an unidentified man lobbed a grenade into the meeting in Datu Odin Sinsuat, a town in Maguindanao, the southern province where 57 people were massacred in November in the worst election-related violence in the country’s history.

Violence caused by political bosses — fueled by a proliferation of illegal weapons — has repeatedly plagued elections in the Philippines. And before the attack on Thursday, according to police statistics, 33 people had been killed this year in attacks linked to the upcoming elections. More than 2,000 have been arrested for violations of a gun ban.

In the attack on Thursday, the apparent targets were Montasir Sabal, who is running for mayor of Talitay, and his brother, Abdulwahad, a candidate for deputy mayor. Both are in the Liberal Party, which is headed by Benigno S. Aquino III, who earlier expressed concerns about possible violence against his supporters.

“The two brothers are lucky because people were around them,” a witness told The Mindanao Examiner, a local newspaper. “They were talking to their supporters when the attack occurred.”

The attack on the Sabal brothers was just the latest in a week of violence.

To read more:

Please be careful when you go there soon, please avoid public places and crowds. ILYSM!

Thai Commandos Raid Protesters’ Hotel in Bangkok

Thai commandos staged a raid on Friday to capture some leaders of the anti-government protests that have gridlocked parts of Bangkok for more than a month, a senior government official said.

The official, Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, said on national television that a special forces unit had surrounded the SC Park Hotel in downtown Bangkok, where some of the leaders have been staying. It was the first military action since a failed attempt to disperse the demonstrators last Saturday resulted in 24 deaths and hundreds of other casualties.

Initial reports from the government and from protest spokesmen on Friday indicated that some of the leaders had been captured while others had escaped, one by sliding down a rope from the hotel. Television footage showed a red-shirted man, identified as a protest organizer, Arisman Pongruengrong, using a rope to leave a third-floor balcony.

Two senior police officers were taken hostage by the protesters during the siege, The Associated Press reported, citing a national police spokesman. “As I am speaking, the government’s special team is surrounding the SC Park Hotel where we have learned that there are terrorists and some of their leaders hiding,” said Mr. Suthep, the deputy prime minister, whose portfolio includes security.

To read more:

Giant Ash Cloud Disrupts Flights Across Europe

An enormous plume of volcanic ash, invisible from the ground, has traveled from Iceland to northern Europe and grounded commercial air travel from Scandinavia and Britain to Belgium. Thousands of flights have been cancelled. Problems are expected through the weekend, and Germany hasn't been spared.

The Netherlands-based European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation, or Eurocontrol, says the flight cancellations represent the most serious interruption of plane traffic in the history of air travel. Because of a massive ash plume from a volcano under the Iclandic glacier of Eyjafjallajökull, which erupted Wednesday, around one-quarter of all flights in Europe have been cancelled.

Some 28,000 flights depart daily from European airports. Eurocontrol estimates that air traffic will be affected for another 48 hours.

On Thursday afternoon airspace over Iceland, Great Britain, Ireland and several Scandinavian countries was fully closed. Air traffic over Belgium and the Netherlands has also been reduced and was expected to stop completely between 4:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Flights over the Atlantic have been re-routed to the south in order to avoid the plume.

So far German air traffic is unimpaired, according to Peter Ramsauer, Federal Minister for Transport. Closing German airspace is not expected to be necessary, and any important measures for German flights will be announced over a weather warning system.

To read more:,1518,689264,00.html

Update: They just bring on the news that the German airports Hamburg, Berlin and Frankfurt at closed and flights can not leave there, because of this Ash Cloud over Germany

Love Quote

"Love is the expansion of two natures in such fashion that each includes the other, each is enriched by the other."
~ Felix Adler

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spring evening walk

Some photo impressions from a short spring evening walk with our little girl in our street, showing how nice all flowers and trees are blossom. IMYSM!

Comments by Cardinal on Sexuality Create a Stir

Tensions rose on Wednesday over comments made Monday by the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who called homosexuality “a pathology” and linked it to pedophilia. The comments came as the Vatican was trying to calm a scandal over sexual abuse by priests.

Gay rights and victims’ groups protested the comments — and on Wednesday even the French government weighed in, calling the remarks by Cardinal Bertone, the Vatican’s second in command, “an unacceptable conflation, and one that we condemn.”

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, quickly distanced the Vatican from the remarks. “Church authorities do not have the competency to make general statements about medical or psychological issues, which we, of course, refer to specialists,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

“He was evidently speaking about abuse on the part of priests and not in the general population,” he added.

The comments, raising for the first time the touchy issue of homosexuality amid the sexual abuse scandal, once again spoke to the Vatican’s continued difficulties in effectively tackling the crisis. In suggesting a link between sexual abuse and homosexuality, Cardinal Bertone stirred up the waters rather than calming them. And even as he distanced the Vatican from those remarks, Father Lombardi answers directly to Cardinal Bertone, further evidence of the Vatican’s less-than-orchestrated message.

The issue is even more charged because Pope Benedict XVI, as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in 1986 wrote the document presenting the Vatican’s most recent stance condemning homosexuality, which determined that it was “not a sin” but “a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil,” and thus “an objective disorder.”

To read more:

I really can not believe it. This old man in this old catholic church should not point to others but look into the mirror and take care of all the problems and scandals they have in their own church. They speak about things they do not even have a clue on. I hope that many people around the world leave this intolerant church, a church which teaches in my opinion hatred and not the love the founder of christian believe originally taught.

Dalai Lama Quote

"Whenever Buddha has settled in a new country, he has also in a somewhat different kind of way been perceived. Buddha taught different, depending on how the new situation - the place, the people - required it. So each one of us has the great responsibility, to practice the essence of Buddhism in each own life."

"Wann immer Buddha sich in einem neuen Land niedergelassen hat, ist er auch in einer etwas andersartigen Weise wahrgenommen worden. Buddha hat unterschiedlich gelehrt, je nachdem, wie die neue Situation - der Ort, die Menschen - es erforderte. So hat jeder Einzelne von uns die große Verpflichtung, das Wesentliche des Buddhismus in seinem jeweils eigenen Leben zu praktizieren."

(Dalai Lama)

Things people do during Khmer New Year

These are some activities photos that people normally do during Khmer New Year from religion things to leisure things.

14th Apr - 1st day of Khmer New Year

Yesterday, I had a trip with friends and friends of friend to Bokor National Park. During the Khmer New Year starting from 14-17th of April, a lot of people in the city in Phnom Penh would go to homeland to meet their family and relatives who live in their homeland. Most of City people prefers to go to Resort or holiday place where they can enjoy the view and relax with family.

On the first day of Khmer New Year, 14th Apr, I had a trip with my former colleague andd friends to visit Bokor National Park. It was good to be there. The normal temperature on the low land is about 38 during noon time but at the top cliff of Bokor Mountain, it is about 17-20 degree. It is almost half cooler than the low land. I really like the view and temperature there as it reminded me a lot of my memory with my Sweetie Prinz in Germany in August. Some photos of the place for your view. The cliff of the Bokor is estimated about 1200 meters of sea level. Around 1 hours drive from the bottom to the top of the cliff.